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My Top 10 Games of 2023

My Top 10 Games of 2023

Unlike last year's list, I was able to make a list of games that all released this year! I've written a bit less this year, but still managed to get down my brief thoughts on each game that made my list.

These are in order, with #1 being my Game of the Year for 2023.

Number 10: Save Room - The Merchant

A fun follow-up to 2022's Save Room - Organization Puzzle. The addition of the merchant mechanic doesn't add a whole lot to the gameplay, but it's nice to relax with some more RE4-style inventory management puzzles. Being completely honest, this is one I could take or leave on my list. A "Top 9 Games of 2023" doesn't sound as good, though.

Number 9: TimeGuessr

I've had a lot of fun playing TimeGuessr with my family over the past year. It reminds me how terrible I am at geography. I definitely prefer it to GeoGuessr since there's no having to worry about moving the map around. There's just one solitary photo that you have to figure out the location and the year when it was taken. The simplicity of it leads to me having a much more fun time playing it.

Number 8: Sticky Business

Sticky Business is such a fun game to relax and be creative with. I tend to be able to do more creatively when I have a prompt. That's why I think many devs love game jams so much. The prompt of "hey, make something out of this pre-existing art" has led to me making a few dozen stickers and having a wonderful time doing so. The devs keep adding free sticker packs, too!

Number 7: Baldur's Gate 3

I think it's possible Baldur's Gate 3 would be higher on my list if I could play through games faster. I tend to play games in very short bursts, which results in me still being in Act 1. I'm having a blast with the game and thinking about how my character would act is really fun. I made a gnome bard named Gratho and he's the best. He likes carrots.

Number 6: Street Fighter 6

I don't have much interesting to say about Street Fighter 6 that hasn't been said already. It's a lot of fun and a big improvement over Street Fighter V, which I already enjoyed quite a bit. JP is a weird character and I love playing as him. I don't know how much I'd enjoy the game if I didn't have a Hitbox controller, but everything I've heard about the modern controls leads me to believe that I'd still have a great time.


WORLD OF HORROR is such a great game. The 1bit Macintosh aesthetic is beautiful to look at and the gameplay is incredibly fun to minmax. I honestly don't really care about the horror aspects of the game. I also feel the game doesn't go so far with the horror that it's actually unsettling to the majority of people, with maybe one exception involving eye stuff. I've unlocked everything there is to unlock in this game and I've had a blast doing it.

Number 4: Luck be a Landlord

I might get some flak for this, but I still genuinely play my own game on a regular basis, so I think it's fair for me to put it here. When I started working on Luck be a Landlord, I wanted to make sure it would become a game that I would want to play myself. I can genuinely say that if someone else made Luck be a Landlord it would still be at this position on my list. I won't go into what I think is good about the game because I have to draw a moral line somewhere. And hey, it's not my favorite game that was released this year!

Number 3: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Ghost Trick was an incredible game and story when I played it on my Nintendo DS back in the day. I'm so glad more people will get to experience some of Shu Takumi's finest work. I will note the PC port had an interesting(?) quirk about it. The game's framerate is definitely higher, but I think the character animations and game speed are also faster. I'm 99% certain this leads to less time for reactions and animations not matching what they were on the DS. It's possible that this is the speed that the game was always meant to run at, but simply didn't originally due to technical limitations of the DS. It's definitely not a deal breaker and you won't even notice it if you haven't played the original DS version.

Number 2: Your Only Move Is HUSTLE

What a brilliant game in both idea and execution. A typical fighting game has 60 "turns" per second where a player can make an input that will change the state of the game. Your Only Move Is HUSTLE is a fighting game with 1 "turn" every 30 seconds or so. It takes the incredibly fast-paced mind games of, say, Street Fighter, and slows it down. This not only removes the accessibility barrier of needing lightning fast reflexes to play optimally, but creates even more time for a chess-like permutation-filled experience. I love it, and I'm terrible at it.

Number 1: PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo

A visual novel lives or dies by its story. PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo has a phenomenal story. Normally that's all you'd need for a visual novel, but Paranormasight goes a step further. I feel that there's not a lot of innovation in the mechanics of the visual novel genre. The most recent example of mechanical innovation I can think of in a visual novel is the original version of Doki Doki Literature Club! (if you know, you know). Paranormasight has puzzles and mechanics that I have never seen in a video game, let alone a visual novel. This game made me literally gasp and think "Wow, I've never seen a game do that before, that's brilliant." The last game I can remember doing that with was Inscryption and how you can't start a new game at the beginning, only continue an existing one. There are moments in PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo that will stick with me forever. Just brilliant.